Welcome to another week of COLLEGE CHRONICLES! I am excited to share this post from Kayla about how to prepare for post-grad life. As many of my friends are graduating this year (and me not being far behind in graduating next year), I know how important it is to know what next steps we need to take after graduation. So, even if you aren’t graduating this year, this is definitely worth the read because you can never be too prepared for the future (:
Life after college — it’s a reality all university students will someday face. Maybe its one you’d rather not think about just yet. But, the truth of the matter is, it will be here quicker than you know it. And for you seniors, it’s really time to buckle down and think about what you want from your post-grad life.
Throughout most of my time in college, I had a pretty solid idea of what I wanted to accomplish professionally. Accordingly, I picked classes and chose internships to further my objectives. But then, second semester senior year came along. My once-concrete goals began to melt and I had no idea what my next step would be. This is an unsettling reality for thousands of college students every year and can make preparing for life after college especially difficult.
Whether you’ve got a solid plan or not, here are my tips to help you prepare for post-grad life.
Have a flexible plan
While this might seem obvious, it’s a good place to start. Some of you might have it all mapped out and others might not even know where to begin. Having some sort of “rough outline” of where you want to be or what you might want to do is important. I knew I wanted to move, and I sort-of knew what field I wanted to look in.
So, I started looking for jobs out of state. For a while, I was having a difficult time finding a position that seemed like a perfect fit. So, I had a few options: move back in with my parents and continue the search for that “perfect” job, look for jobs in-state, or look for jobs outside of my desired field. I decided that moving was more of a priority to me than finding something in my field, so I continued to look for jobs out of state and broadened my search. And you know what? Something near-perfect fell into my lap. Be willing to compromise — be flexible.
Dress the part
Pick up some office-appropriate clothes. Put together one outfit that you could wear to an interview or job fair. Sometimes I wish they didn’t, but first impressions really do matter. Everyone wants to be that interviewee that’s remembered because of their impressive list of accomplishments… and not because they were the only candidate that day that didn’t wear a polished outfit.
Utilize your resources
Many colleges have super valuable resources available to students free of charge. Take advantage of your school’s career services office, attend events and get to know a career services advisor. It’s quite literally their job to help you get hired!
Along the same lines, utilize on-campus resources to perfect your resume. I used my school’s career services office and our writing center to help craft a strong resume and cover letter. Once I had a solid “generic” cover letter + resume, it was super easy to tailor them specifically to each job I applied to. Much easier than starting from scratch every time I needed a cover letter.
Don’t get discouraged
It’s so easy to become discouraged when you’re on the job-hunt. Especially when your friends are getting offer letters and you’re not even getting interviews. I know it’s easier said than done, but don’t compare yourself to others. It’s easy to get caught up in the comparison game but it does more harm than good. Follow the beat of your own drum. Be patient. Stay positive.
Have fun. This is probably going to be one of the last times in your life when you don’t have any real responsibilities weighing you down or dictating your life. Skip that late afternoon class and go to happy hour with your friends. Enjoy Sunday brunches. Explore buildings on campus you’ve never been in. Cause trouble on the weekends. Don’t be afraid to take risks and live your college days to the fullest.Are you ready to graduate?? Make sure you prepare for post-grad life! Click To Tweet
Kayla is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison where she studied political science and legal studies. Currently, she lives in Washington, D.C. where she works in law. Kayla writes at Keynotes from Kay, a curated life + style blog on the thoughts and musings of a twenty-something’s journey through young adulthood. You can also find her on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, so check her out!
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